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  1. #1
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    Default Why the sensitivity?

    Why is there so much sensitivity here on whiteblaze to posters who dare to criticize the actions of the trail clubs who are responsible for various sections of the Appalachian Trail? I have noticed that when we post something, usually in response to a question, that is critical to one of the State or Federal government entities like the NPS, USFS, State Parks etc. ( All are organizations that are responsible for, and set or influence policy or make rules for hiking the trail.) it will garner little emotional response. We can bad mouth the Park Service all we want and it will raise very few hackles. If however, we dare to question integrity, or criticize a trail club, even though they, like the government, are responsible for, and set or influence policy or rules for hiking the trail. It will quickly turn into a cat fight with anger, outrage, name calling etc? Why the sensitivity to one but not the other? It can be difficult to voice a complaint against a trail club. They don't exactly have a suggestion box or even an online place for comment. If a trail club has ever sent out an opinion poll or asked hikers opinions I have never seen one. It's like they are disconnected from non club members who hike there section of trail. Other than voicing our concerns with a sharpie on the shelter walls, Public forums like whiteblaze seem to be the only place left to take your issue to.

  2. #2

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    It seems to me most of the time you complain for the sake of complaining.

    The vast majority of trail clubs are made up of volunteers and their work is on a voluntary basis. To secure the right to complain you need to become involved. Yapping from Whiteblaze isn't about to change anything on the ground.

  3. #3
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    I usually object when the complaint is unfounded, an unreasonable expectation, or complete ignorance.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  4. #4
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    There is a natural tendency or mind frame if you wish that it is harder to criticize a volunteer group or a charity because they are volunteer and not paid workers. It is just in human nature I guess.

    And it get harder if one has not been involved in any volunteer trail works. I don't think closing the doors to any criticism will lead to a better world in long run even if it is done purely by volunteers.

    Everybody can make mistakes and being a volunteer does not make one" fault proof" but as I said it is our tendency to spare trail authorities and clubs from criticism just because they are volunteers and their intention is all good.

  5. #5

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    If your not a member of a club, how do they know to notify you about something or ask for you opinion? And if your not a member of the club, why should your opinion count at all? You should be happy there are clubs and people who spend thier time maintaining trail and shelters, so that you can hike it.

    Anyway, clubs don't set policy, they follow it. The goverment in the form of the Park service and forest service do that. The ATC is sort of an umbrella orginzation that co-ordinates section clubs and works with the goverment agencies in respect to trail issues. So, if you want a voice, join the ATC. Otherwise, join a club and start doing trail maintenance- that's what clubs primarly do. And if your still upset about the AMC huts, get over it - you don't live here.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #6

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    I'm willing to bet most complaints about trails are lodged before the complainer has given it any thought, or they fail to see the costs, times, and effort involved.

    It's easy to say the trail was trashed and overgrown in March before maintainers have been out there, or a certain section of trail needs a couple waterbars.

  7. #7
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    If your not a member of a club, how do they know to notify you about something or ask for you opinion? And if your not a member of the club, why should your opinion count at all? You should be happy there are clubs and people who spend thier time maintaining trail and shelters, so that you can hike it.

    Anyway, clubs don't set policy, they follow it. The goverment in the form of the Park service and forest service do that. The ATC is sort of an umbrella orginzation that co-ordinates section clubs and works with the goverment agencies in respect to trail issues. So, if you want a voice, join the ATC. Otherwise, join a club and start doing trail maintenance- that's what clubs primarly do. And if your still upset about the AMC huts, get over it - you don't live here.
    The bold part is why people are sensitive about the issue.Everybody has the right to question any group volunteer, or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kookork View Post
    The bold part is why people are sensitive about the issue.Everybody has the right to question any group volunteer, or not.
    no they dont.
    or at least it does not require a response.

  9. #9
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    Why would the US Government turn over the care and control of the Appalachian Trail to a trail club that was not accountable or answerable to the people?

  10. #10
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    no they dont.
    or at least it does not require a response.
    Yes they DO.

    The second part of your comment I have no problem with. They are not obliged to response but that does not mean nobody can't question them just because they are not paid worker or their intention is great.

  11. #11

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    if you are not already part of the solution you have no right to criticize

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    besides moldy is just trolling again

  13. #13
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    if you are not already part of the solution you have no right to criticize
    write this comment down and show it to ten different people ( hiker or not ) and ask them how many people think that is a reasonable statement.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kookork View Post
    write this comment down and show it to ten different people ( hiker or not ) and ask them how many people think that is a reasonable statement.
    I don't think it's a reasonable statement... it's not black and white like that. Sometimes it can be true, sometimes not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kookork View Post
    write this comment down and show it to ten different people ( hiker or not ) and ask them how many people think that is a reasonable statement.
    okay ,let me clarify my comment.
    there are millions of people who sit back and complain. they enjoy complaining.they do nothing about their situations, carry around a victim mentality and blame all their miseries upon someone else.we have become a country of sheep. in the 60s we sang "we can change the world", now they sing"we're waiting on the world to change"(j.mayer).what is the purpose of the op posting this on whiteblaze?
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by moldy View Post
    Why would the US Government turn over the care and control of the Appalachian Trail to a trail club that was not accountable or answerable to the people?
    the trail clubs built the trail, not the government.

  17. #17
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Oh Moldy as a past member of Wilmington Trail Club - I would not begin to complain about the clubs, or the lack of complaint here on WB ( there is a reason for that ) NPS mmmm yea but they are there to serve everyone and have little to do with the cards they were delt recently. Much of the govt shutdown was a sideshow to the public and many here fell for it. It was there to inconvenience people, some govt employees took a real hit.

    I don't understand where you are going with this. I don't have any issues with clubs - tis a good system.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  18. #18
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    the trail clubs built the trail, not the government.
    When Earl hiked from end to end as one of the few to complete it - it was called the Government Trail. just saying.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    When Earl hiked from end to end as one of the few to complete it - it was called the Government Trail. just saying.
    the trail clubs built the trail, not the government.

  20. #20
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    Anything that anyone, group or individual, does in the public eye, is subject to opinion and criticism. It is also the right of the person or group being criticized to not respond or ignore it.

    As well, the opinions and criticisms put out publicly are subject to the same treatment. Put out criticism that is based on poor foundation, or selfish intent, and expect to get hammered for it. Conversely, if opinion or criticism is put forward with the genuine intent to help, or just to understand and learn, it should be encouraged and fostered.

    Saying one shouldn't put forth because one does not live in that area, or has not joined that particular club is elitist and snobbish at best. The trail is a national resource, so by virtue of that designation, all citizens "live there". As well, it is not feasible, nor practical to join a volunteer club very far from where one does live. I do agree with joining and supporting the ATC in an attempt to be involved far from home.

    Clubs, volunteer or not, are very probably always working with the best intent. Good intentions pave many things, depending on your philosophical point of view. Without input and criticism from those having differing perspectives, how can they be expected to address issues that may not have made it into their view. Far too often, most volunteer groups end up following the direction and vision of a small minority putting in the effort to plan and organize, and while no fault lies with those few for it, that means that perspective and import of issues is limited.

    That said, opinion and criticism should be well thought out and supported with more than "this thing sucks", or "why should I have to..." They should also be polite, without emotion or venom of any sort. They need not always include alternative solutions, as seeing an issue and knowing how to fix it are not mutually inclusive, but should never come across as negative, accusatory, or attacking.

    Instead of being negative to someone voicing concern, criticism, or disagreement, help or encourage them to formulate the ideas into something usable, and to get that to the person or group in question. Why not take a viewpoint and turn it into a potential opportunity for growth and positive change?

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